Who Really Puts Instax Film in Their Mouth?

Sometimes I forget that I’m 35 years old and that my fellow millennials have done some stupid things like going to Fire Festival. But when I look at the new warning label on Instax film, I wonder if Gen Z didn’t learn from the tide pod trend from years ago. Not long ago, Fujifilm issued a new warning on the back of their Instax film. It specifically tells customers that they’re not supposed to put the film in their mouth. But isn’t that obvious?

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What customer would prompt that something like this be put on the film? We decided to do a little bit of investigation. It started with us asking our Fujifilm reps about this specific thing. Obviously, since it was printed on the film, it had to be addressed in some way or another. In an email from our Fujifilm reps, they said the following:

“Since Instax film is enjoyed by consumers of many ages, ‘Do not put in mouth’ was added to the film within the last few years out of an abundance of caution. There was not a specific incident that caused this message to be added; rather it was a business decision made in order to best inform our consumers on the safe handling of our products.”

It’s our job to be journalists and not necessarily trust our sources. But we’ve never had reasons to not trust our Fujifilm reps. To be transparent, I trust Fujifilm’s answer. But that didn’t satisfy my curiosity on the subject. So I had to do some more digging. So I took to Google to search for this:

  • In 2020, a parent asked if their baby was okay because the child ingested some Insta Film Ink. One person said that the parent has nothing to be concerned with.
  • Someone more or less had to be told that the chemicals in Instax are only harmful if ingested in one Reddit thread from 2015.
  • In 2019, a forum literally wondered what the flavor would be like if licking Polaroids became a fad.
  • Fujifilm’s Data sheet says that you shouldn’t put the film in your mouth.
  • One person in a Photo.Net thread said that you’d have to eat an entire box of Polaroids to get sick.
  • The Photography Professor had to explain to people that Polaroids don’t have Ink.
  • When I typed, “What does Instax film taste like?” I was brought to an article that gave me unsatisfactory results.

Make no mistake, people have done some pretty crazy things with instant film before. Photographer Oliver Blohm nuked his Polaroids in the microwave before.

So What is in Instax Film? And Is it Harmful?

Instax Film has, quite literally, photo development chemicals instead of it. Each photo, contains those chemicals in a little pod. When the photo comes out of the camera, the pod is burst and the chemicals are distributed through the image via the rollers. It’s pretty brilliant and of course, continues to impress us many years after it has been invented. 

But what’s in photochemistry? Well, here are some that might be included:

  • Hydroquinone
  • Phenidone
  • Dimezone
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Acetic acid
  • Ammonium thiosulfate
  • Sodium thiosulfate
  • Paraphenylene diamine

Do you know what any of these are? Probably not. If your photos are so wonderful that you want to lick them, I’d probably look at asking Carvel to make you a cake with a photo printed on it or something like that instead.

You can buy some Instax film for yourself and also look at our list of the best Instax cameras for your next party.

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